Vermont governor vetoes marijuana bill, wants changes made

Vermont governor vetoes marijuana bill wants changes made

Vermont governor vetoes marijuana bill wants changes made

Phil Scott (R) has vetoed legislation that would have legalized marijuana for recreational use, delivering a blow to legalization backers who hoped Vermont would be the next domino to fall.

"If the Legislature agrees to make the changes I am seeking, we can move this discussion forward in a way that ensures the public health and safety of our communities", he said. Scott suggested legislators could make changes to address those concerns in a veto sess.

"This is a huge policy decision for us", Scott said. He also wants a more exhaustive study of the impacts of legalization, including "an education and prevention strategy to address use by minors, and a plan for continued monitoring and reporting on impacts to public health". Vermont's Democratic legislature would likely be unable to override Scott's veto, given that the bill squeaked through the House two weeks ago on a 79-66 vote. Grad says she thinks Scott's proposed revisions are very doable between now and June 21, when the Legislature returns to take up vetoed bills.

During the press conference, Gov. Scott said he has never smoked marijuana, but has several friends that do, noting that they have told him they would continue to buy marijuana on the black market if it was taxed too much in the state. Scott has been non-committal about what he'd do with the bill, saying he's "not ideologically opposed" to legalization, but that he has serious concerns about the impact of more permissive cannabis laws on highway safety.

In vetoing the measure to decriminalize possession of small amounts of the drug for adults and to pave the way for a regulated market in the state, Republican Governor Phil Scott stressed he was not philosophically opposed to the concept, which he said he views "through a libertarian lens".

Polls conducted in 2016 by Vermont's public radio station and in 2015 by Castleton Polling Institute found that a majority of Vermonters support legalizing adult marijuana use.

Third, the Marijuana Regulatory Commission section must be enhanced in order to be taken seriously.

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"I do not see many of our members changing their minds on supporting marijuana legalization", he said.

The legislation passed both the House and Senate earlier this month.

"We'd be the first in the nation to legalize by legislation", Scott told reporters, "and we need to move a little bit slower".

Marijuana is legal in eight states-Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington-and the District of Columbia, but all of them legalized it via initiatives.

"Vermonters want to see marijuana policy reform happen, and we're encouraged that there's a pathway forward", she said.

Representatives from the Vermont Association of Police Chiefs, the Vermont Medical Society, and the Vermont American Academy of Pediatrics were among those groups opposing S. 22. "We will be working very closely with our allies to make sure any piece of legislation does not allow Big Marijuana to come to Vermont".

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